150 Years of Opera in Chicago
Robert C. MarshISBN: 0875803539;
Chicago's love affair with opera began early, in 1850, when the frontier town welcomed its first traveling opera singers. A full house applauded the opening performance, but during a repeat performance the next day, the theater burned to the ground. Nonetheless, Chicago had been bitten by the opera bug, and it has never lost its enthusiasm for the art. More than sixty years?and many visiting opera companies?would pass before the city established an opera company of its own. Robert Marsh recounts the trials and triumphs of the entrepreneurs and the colorful international artists who brought opera to Chicago and staged it in a number of different theaters. In the first half of the twentieth century, seven opera companies were started in Chicago?and failed. Finally, in 1954, three friends launched the company that became Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the city gained a company that not only thrived but earned recognition as one of the nation's great cultural institutions....
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